The Weekly Amen is a list of articles, videos, and other resources that I’ve recognized as content we want to “Amen”. This content will come from various platforms and highlight various perspectives on topics that affect the Church’s collective witness and contributes to influencing our emphasis on the Great Commission here at the CGCS
Early Christians before Constantine were highly persecuted for being too exclusive, narrow, and strange, and yet at the same time they were fast growing, especially in the urban centers. (See, for example, Alan Kreider’s chapter “The Improbable Growth of the Church” in The Patient Ferment of the Early Church.)
This has been called an effective “missionary encounter” with Roman society. There was both offense and attraction, confrontation and persuasion. Christianity didn’t adapt to culture in order to gain more adherents, but neither did it remain a small, withdrawn band. Christianity confronted and critiqued the culture, and believers suffered for it—yet the faith also convinced many, attracting growing numbers of converts daily.
“When I Consider the Darkness is my latest spoken word piece, featuring the wonderful K.A. Ellis. I touch on the topics of racism, persecution, and persevering hope in a very personal poem I penned when pregnant with my first child. I share it in hopes of fostering empathy in conversations around racial reconciliation, while offering unshakable hope to those overwhelmed by the darkness.”
The most read New York Times article from 2016 had nothing to do with politics, culture wars, or comic book movies. Instead, the most-read article of 2016 was all about commitment.
The piece, titled “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person,” was written by Alain de Botton. In it, de Botton takes shots at our culture’s idea that the ultimate foundation for commitment in marriage is romantic affection, that feeling of compatibility that means the other person will finally fulfill my needs and make me truly happy.
We all know this is misguided, so much so that de Botton predicts every married person will eventually find inadequacies so severe in their spouse that it will prompt them to ask, “Did I marry the wrong person?” He humorously notes, the relational arc of a marriage leans away from idealistic romantic sizzle as “maddening children . . . kill the passion from which they emerged.”